Australian International
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The first five years of a child’s life are critical and we are lucky in Dubai to have a variety of services available for the care and education of our little ones. However, selecting the right centre can be overwhelming. We have compiled a quick list of things you should look for and ask as a parent while deciding on the best early learning centre for your child.

Teacher qualifications. A university qualified teacher with a Bachelor of Education, specialising in early childhood education, holds a wealth of specialist knowledge, which will support the growth and development of your child. At Australian International School (AIS) Dubai, we pride ourselves on recruiting university trained teachers to teach even the youngest of children.

A warm, welcoming team. Not only the manager or principal, but all teachers should be warm and welcoming when you visit. At AIS Dubai, not only will you be welcomed by our friendly receptionists, Karen McCord, AIS Dubai’s Executive Principal, will spend time explaining in detail our curriculum. As she walks you through the corridors and classrooms, you will notice that we welcome visitors to our community of learners.

A tour offered during school hours, so you can see the children and teachers ‘in action.’ Ask yourself if they are happy, engaged and moving around freely.

Quality early childhood programmes offer children the space and freedom to move and choose where they wish to play throughout the day.

An environment that is tidy, uncluttered and home like. Children need environments that look more like a home and less like an institution.

Materials and resources available should be open-ended and provide opportunities for exploration and discovery. At Australian International School Dubai, children in the early years are engaged in meaningful play throughout the day.

Consider the curriculum carefully. On tours you may hear the terms “Reggio,” “Montessori” or “play-based” used often. Read up on what these truly mean before your tour so you can actively observe if this is visible in the early learning centre.

Research has repeatedly shown that one of the best indicators of a quality early learning centre is small group sizes. Are there more than 20 children in each room? If so, consider whether your child is able to get the individualised attention they require.

Be sure to ask how teachers plan for learning. Consider both opportunities for your child to learn as part of a whole group and as an individual with their unique likes and dislikes.